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Portland Timbers 3-0 LA Galaxy: Notes From Cascadia

That wasn’t supposed to happen. On a warm, beautiful sunny night in downtown Portland, Oregon, a certain team from California came into Jeld-Wen with perhaps a bit of overconfidence, eh? And finally, FINALLY, the Timbers put together a top notch performance for a full 90 minutes at home to defeat the L.A. Galaxy 3-0 before a giddy and shocked sellout Timbers crowd.

Let’s get a few Timbers fun facts out of the way first, shall we.

  • The win snapped LA’s 15 game unbeaten streak.
  • It was the Galaxies only 3rd defeat of the season and first since May 1st.
  • It was Portland’s first home win since May 21st.
  • I finally got to see a win at home and didn’t have a coronary watching the boys blow a lead. (Sorry, I’m still excited)

Where to begin? As the starting lineup was announced, fans learned we’d be playing the top team in the MLS without starting All-Star Captain Jack Jewsbury (groin injury) and had a late scratch in up and coming striker Eddie Johnson (concussion in pregame, replaced by struggling Kenny Cooper). That uneasy feeling slowly melted away though as the opening whistle blew and fans watched a thoroughly dominating performance take place by the home squad. Portland was aggressive and attacked L.A. from the onset. The Galaxy time and again could not keep up with the speed of forward Jorge Perlaza on the long balls (Perlaza’s best match as a Timber in my opinion) and struggled to maintain any sort of quality possession. In the 26th minute, new left back Mike Chabala received a beautiful feed from Darlington Nagbe and kicked the ball in stride beating keeper Josh Saunders for the game’s 1st goal. Minutes later in the 33rd, Diego Chara (playing lights out I feel) fed a ball to Jorge Perlaza at the top of the box who outran the defender and hammered a shot low and in the corner to give the home team a 2-nil lead that they’d take into halftime. The dazed and rabid crowd couldn’t believe the scoreboard at the end of 1. Portland up 2-nil and leading the Galaxy in shots 9-0. Wow indeed.

As expected, the 2nd half saw the Galaxy up the pressure but still unable to muster any real solid chances. The Timbers held ground and provided the tense crowd a sense of relief when Eric Brunner headed in a corner in the 68th minute to give the Timbers a 3-nil lead. And yes, when we hit the 70th minute, the past several games were in the back of the minds of everyone in Jeld-Wen. However, this time the Timbers kept their poise and fought for the entire game to seal the victory and a clean sheet to boot. Let’s face it, the Galaxy looked out of synch and played poorly but who cares, quite frankly. Portland played their best game as a franchise and got their greatest victory as a franchise and the city walked out with smiles on their faces instead of frowns from another bitter result and late game meltdown. A three game road trip looms. Let’s see if the Timbers can carry on with this momentum and start an unbeaten streak of their own.

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  1. casualfan

    August 5, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    There were several major differences in the way the Timbers played vs. the Galaxy, but the biggest difference IMO was clearly defending. I think Spencer’s changes to the back line have proved inspired. Goals come pretty easily for us, but as everyone knows, we have been unable to absorb pressure. During this game, the Timbers kept the offense on the boil throughout the whole match and they were able to make good defensive plays when they needed them. When they’re playing well, they are superb. Maybe better than any other MLS team. Here’s to hoping the changes to the lineup will hold up and we make it into the playoffs.

    • Charles

      August 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Ummm, no even when they play well, they are not better than all the other MLS teams.
      They stink, with some bright spots and a huge home field advantage.

      The have big wins against the Big 4 ( not the Sounders obviously that will NEVER happen ) AT HOME.
      On the road they lost to Dallas 4-0 and LA 3-0.

      Only Toronto and Vancouver have lost more games.
      They have 1.19 PPG. That is brutal and even if MLS did something like expand the playoffs to a crazy 10 teams, that still won’t get them in.

      Convert to Sounder’s Rave Green, before you lose all sense of reality….

      • Sancho

        August 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm

        How can anyone dislike derbies?!

        You maus admit, Chalres, that Portland is fighting for the 4th spot into the Wild Card play-in. Specially, if the “House of Pain” starts to work on full count again…

        • Sancho

          August 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

          (correcting) You MUST admit

      • casualfan

        August 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm

        ah the PNW rivalry goes on.

        It could have been Seattle or NY or RSL or the Rapids the other night, and the results would have been the same: PT would have taken your Sounders out behind the woodshed for a good old fashioned smacked bottom. That is a fact.

        No other team shows as much spark and creativity as the Timbers do when they’re on their game. They just have no consistency other than the fact that they usually fold under pressure.

  2. Tony

    August 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I heard Beckham cried publicly.

  3. Charles

    August 5, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I love articles I can just read and not had to wade through apologies about US soccer, thanks.

    Without Jewsbury is something to be excited about, and Portland has looked very dangerous at times.
    I think LA is very vulnerable to speed, Perlaza has it…and so does Dallas….in the playoffs.

    Portland’s fans this season have been good for MANY wins and while it is frustrating to give up late leads, they probably wouldn’t have the lead without those fans.

    See the next three games on the road for example…..TIIIIIMBEEEEER… C
    Crash !

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